What started in a marketplace quickly became a worldwide event. A virus out of Wuhan, China, started to make global headlines for it’s rapid transmission, severe symptoms, and alarming mortality.
In late 2019, the first cases of SARS-CoV2, widely known as COVID-19, were discovered in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, spreading quickly through the rest of the country.
Our compassionate, hard-working staff of medical professionals at Desoto Family Care Clinic in Southaven, Mississippi, worked with patients who were infected with COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, and learned valuable lessons about detection and treatment.
One of the most important lessons that all health care providers have learned since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is the importance of testing.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a disease that attacks your respiratory system, meaning your lungs, bronchial tubes, throat, and nose. Your lungs and breathing passages are susceptible to a number of different illnesses, but COVID-19 is a special concern.
Symptoms of COVID-19 mirror flu symptoms, and include:
- Body aches and headaches
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
- Loss of sense of taste and smell
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Extreme fatigue
COVID-19 is particularly dangerous to senior adults and people with underlying conditions. People with chronic respiratory issues and immunocompromised individuals are also vulnerable to COVID-19, though no more likely to contract the virus than people without chronic conditions.
People who survive COVID-19 are at risk of developing long-term related illnesses, including new symptoms. The new vestiges of illness can last for one month or longer, and in mid-2021, long-lasting COVID was classified as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Some instances of COVID-19 have caused neurological damage, or damage to other organs, so testing and prevention is essential.
When should I get tested for COVID-19?
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s best to get tested for COVID-19 to help control the spread. If you’ve had contact with a person who was sick, it’s best to get a COVID test, even if the sick person with whom you were in contact has not been tested.
If you’ve traveled to a high-risk area of the country, or an area outside of the United States, it’s important to get tested for COVID before re-entering the country. Not only are you legally mandated to do so, testing every person who enters the country helps to control the spread and trace the origin of any new infections.
Desoto Family Care Clinic offers two types of COVID tests—the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and the rapid antigen test. For most, the PCR test is the best test, as the rapid test may not detect COVID-19 before the necessary antigens are present in your bloodstream.
How do I avoid getting COVID-19?
Fortunately, you can be vaccinated against COVID-19. We can schedule an appointment for your COVID-19 test or your vaccine, or both.
In addition to inoculation against COVID-19, and tests to ensure that your status remains negative, following steps to keep yourself hygienic goes a long way to prevent the spread to yourself and your loved ones.
Use a face mask when you’re in enclosed public spaces, and try to stay six feet away from people outside of your household. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, making sure to wash underneath your nails and between your fingers.